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Door knocking campaign for vaccine outreach underway in San Diego County

Door knocking campaign for COVID vaccine outreach launched in San Diego County
Posted at 3:58 PM, May 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-21 19:57:27-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Efforts to reach those not yet vaccinated in the county are now headed door-to-door.

Over the past three weeks, a team of 20 canvassers from nonprofit Alliance San Diego has been going door-to-door in underserved communities in San Diego, hard hit by COVID-19.

“We are confident that we will make a huge difference in the low vaccination rate among people of color in the San Diego region,” said Christopher Rice-Wilson, Associate Director of Alliance San Diego.

The outreach begins with a knock at the door. The goal is to educate help set up a COVID vaccine appointments, by overcoming barriers like technology, misinformation and language.

“When someone knocks on your door with information — who looks like you, who talks the way you talk, who lives in the same neighborhood you live in — you’re more likely to listen to them,” said Rice-Wilson.

The canvassers were hired as part of the statewide project Healthy Future California, which is partnering with UCLA. The state kicking in $20 million, in hopes of reaching those not yet vaccinated.

The other local nonprofit hired for the outreach program: Partnership for the Advancement of New Americans (PANA), which will focus on phone banking.

So far, Alliance San Diego canvassers have knocked on more than 6,000 doors in San Diego County, sometimes following up with phone calls. Rice-Wilson says the peer-to peer-appeals are working.

"The people we talked who haven’t been vaccinated … we’re seeing a 65% to 75% success rate in making appointments for them,” said Rice-Wilson.

The nonprofits have helped make more than 500 vaccine appointments.

“We want to make sure these communities are a part of the solution, and they know they’re part of the solution, and that we can all play a role in keeping our communities safe,” said Rice-WIlson.

Rice-Wilson says his team will continue to canvass five days a week, until the end of June.

Across the state, some 2,000 canvassers have knocked on more than 230,000 doors and made 13,0000 vaccine appointments.